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Stockholm Grand Jury Prize to "Innocence"

The 15th Stockholm International Film Festival announced the decisions of the Festival Jury in a special ceremony at the festival close on November 27th. For the first time ever for the festival, a female director received the prestigious Bronze Horse award. Female directors also for the first time were fifty percent in the official selection. The jury included Alexandra Dahlström, acclaimed actress of Lukas Moodysson's Fucking Åmål and Bruce LaBruce, Canadian cult film director whose film Raspberry Reich, a gay male porn film set to the revolutionary ideas of sexual liberation by Wilhelm Reich was included in the non-competitive section "Twilight Zone".It is manifest destiny that this jury chose "Innocence" for the grand prix award! Winners and jury motivations follow.

The Bronze Horse for Best film 2004 was awarded to Innocence, directed by Lucile Hadzihalilovic. According to the director "the film is about six-year-old Iris, who arrives at the boarding school inside of a coffin. She has no idea of how or why she has ended up there, nor why the other girls tell her that she can never leave".

Best film: Innocence by Lucile Hadzihalilovic
"In the form of an allegory, Hadzihalilovic lays bare the brutal process of becoming a woman with the unsentimental precision of a surgeon. And with an extraordinary control of her medium – and not least her young actors – she manages to create a truly original film of a subject at once familiar and strange".

Best script: Jean-Pierre Bacri and Agnès Jaoui – Look at Me
"With deceptive lightness and controlled pain a gripping story is told about the mechanisms of power and the shortcomings of people".

Best cinematography: Benoït Cebie – Innocence
"For providing an imagery where the uncanny is given a beautiful expression; fragile but yet with a strength leaving the spectator entranced and convinced that certain images will linger forever".

Best actress:Lisa Blount – Chrystal
"With a beautifully nuanced performance, Blount gives poise and dignity to a character in physical and emotional pain".

Best actor:Peter Sarsgaard – Garden State
"For elevating an already good film with a performance that reflects a character in all his complexity".

Best first feature film:Jacob Aaron Estes – Mean Creek
"With an impressive capacity for instructing his talented young cast, Estes is sure to go very far".

Best short film: Gospel of the Creole Pig by Michelange Quay
"A brilliantly executed film essay draws hundreds of years of colonialism and oppression in powerful images that are impossible to free oneself from".

Honourable mention: L’Esquive by Abdel Kechiche
"With a brilliant amateur cast, L’Esquive is both a slice-of life of Parisian suburbia and the classical drama to which it alludes".

Not unexpected, the Star! Audience Award wen to Old Boy by Park Chan-wook - a film that played to sold out screenings.

1 km film 2004: Daniel Wallentin – Kung Konrad
"With a funny and unpredictable storytelling, Kung Konrad finds its own unique place in the tradition of dramatic comedy".

Honorary mention 1 km film: Andreas Öhman – Positive about Negative
"With efficiency and great enthusiasm this film indicates a bright future for its talented director".

Made in Stockholm: Tomas Mankovsky – Little Big Love
"Without the use of dialogue a little tin man is brought to life in this story that immediately wins the hearts of the audience".

Jameson Short Film Award: Goran Kapetanovic – Eko
"For portraying a complex subject matter and fearlessly transcending all borders with the universal language of cinema".

The FIPRESCI Jury’s choice: Producing Adults by Aleksi Salmenperä
"For it’s intriguing explorations of the issues in modern relationships".

Stockholm Lifetime Achievement Award: Oliver Stone
"With a fearless exploration of individual lives affected by the modern day America, maverick and rebel Oliver Stone has challenged mainstream norms and created a deeply personal and political cinematic world.

The Stockholm Lifetime Achievement Award is given to a person active within the film community whose body of work Stockholm International Film Festival wants to honor and shed light on".

Stockholm Visionary Award: Todd Solondz
"In his pioneering film projects, New Jersey’s greatest cynic has made the unfolding of the story of the dysfunctional human being to a true art form. Fear, anxiety and depression are the key words for this visionary with one foot in the Douglas Sirk melodrama, the other in the Ingmar Bergman drama and with a pair of horn-rimmed spectacles from Woody Allen's darkest corners.

The Stockholm Visionary Award is established in order to encourage the work, visions and achievements of contemporary filmmakers".

World Wide Winner Award
Best film iFestival: Grass by Simon Otto.

The festival closing film was Jean Pierre Jeunet's exquisite, perfectly designed and handcrafted feature A Very Long Engagement,a poignant story set in France during World War 1 starring Audrey Tautou, Gaspard Ulliel, Dominique Pinon, Jodie Foster and Chantal Neuwirth. There are charming touches to the story about a couple divided during the war but the film will be most remembered for its brilliant art direction and is perhaps Jeunet's finest piece to date.

Moira Sullivan, Nordic Correspondent, FIPRESCI


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